Monday, January 24, 2011

Finally Back In The Air!

Work, weather, and life just got in the way of flying lately and on December 31, 2010 the 2 year requirement for my Flight Review came due. At first I really didn't mind. I got two quick flights in just before the end of the year and even managed to install a preheat system to deal with these frigid Florida winters. heard me right. It's been just plain cold by anyone’s standard and a few times those 20 degree days were the only thing keeping me from flying. Well not anymore!

I spent the New Years' weekend installing the Reiff Standard Preheat System which includes an oil sump heater and 6 bands to individually heat the cylinders. I had this system on the Arrow and loved it. Now when it's freezing outside, my oil and cylinders are sitting around 100+ degrees. Ready for a short run-up and flight!

Anyway, since then the work schedule has been hectic again and what few days I've had available didn't mesh with my instructors'. That changed today. I'm tired of sitting and watching the days roll by so I used a vacation day and got it done! Not only did I get my Flight Review done, but we also combined it with an Instrument Proficiency Check. We spent the afternoon doing various maneuvers and procedures. I spent most of the flight time under the hood while we did some holds and shot 6 instrument approaches; 3 ILS, 1 VOR, and 2 GPS approaches. JAX Approach was kind enough to work us in for 2 ILS approaches at Jacksonville International Airport. My first approach there had me following an Airbus so I kept us a little high on the glideslope and landed a little long, which successfully kept us out of the wake turbulence.

It was quite a workout, mentally and physically, but it felt good and as we quickly jumped from one evolution to the next I felt like I was getting back into the groove. My instructor agreed and with my logbook endorsed I'm good for another two years!


  1. Couple of thoughts:
    1. Work, Weather, and Life are tough obstacles! (Glad u were able to overcome them today!)
    2. You are officially the ONLY Pilot I know in FL that owns a preheater! Even most FL FBOs don't have them!!
    3. Anytime you need a safety pilot, let me know...


  2. Thanks TJ.

    Even if I save one cylinder by preheating in the cold mornings, the system has paid for itself. I figured I could also use it if we venture north on trips during the winter.

    I'll definitely take you up on your safety pilot offer. I haven't really found anyone around here yet to fly with. Let me know if I can do the same for you.

  3. Congrats,

    The arrow is still doing great. She now has full LFS speed kit and vortex generators. About 5 knots slower on final and 10 knots faster on the top end plus doesn't run out of elevator on landing. Strongly recommended for your Lance. Thanks again for a great airplane. 120 hours later it needed one O Ring. Now she sits side by side with my new Mooney Ovation 3, decided against a Seneca.

  4. Wow Andy, that's cool! Glad to hear 27D has been taking care of you. You sure have been flying a lot. Told you that would happen when you became and owner. Congrats on the Mooney. I guess your addicted to speed now!

    So when are going to make good on your girl's request and head this way for the islands? We head back at the end of March.

    Great to hear from you. Happy New Year.

  5. I'm envious, Geoff. You have a nicer preheating system than I do! (but mine still works...) My last flight was just over a week was 1°F when we launched. Brrr!

    Congrats on getting back in the air and signed off!

  6. Chris, I know compared to you I can't complain. After almost 5 years in Florida now I consider it cold as soon as I can't wear shorts anymore! Yeah, I'm a wuss. I need to venture north soon and keep a promise to find some snow for my daughter to play in. I wonder how far I'd have to go.

  7. Sounds like a heck of a workout under the hood! When you get back on the ground and your eyes feel like they are spinning like a carnival prize, you've been punished real good. :) Good to hear your good to go for two more years!

    We have the reiff heaters, great product. Temp in the teens, not counting wind chill and I can have the temps around 105* if I plug in at noon and fly that night. I also use a moving blanket over the cowl tucked under the leading edge of my cover and tucked in behind the prop.


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